The CMJ Music Marathon was a New York Institution between 1975 and 2015, but the event came crumbling down following some legal issues involving the then-CEO and some lawsuits from employees. In 2016, they asked fans to “bear with” them, and toward the end of last year, it looked like good news from CMJ was on the way. Under new ownership, CMJ was set to return in 2020. Like it has to everybody else, though, life happened, and live events aren’t really going on right now.
However, Amazing Radio, which announced in April that they are the new owners of the CMJ name, has a plan. Instead of a live in-person event, CMJ will be an online-only affair that will be “set up to emulate the iconic New York City festival and its spirit of new music discovery,” as noted in a press statement. For $30, artists can sign up to be eligible to play the virtual fest.
In April, Amazing Radio chairman Bill Hein said, “This is a revolution for American emerging artists; the opportunity to be played on the radio, increase their popularity through listener engagement, have the chance to play CMJ and grow their careers, all backed up by audience support and exert advice. We’re still planning to bring CMJ back to New York in October, come hell or coronavirus. But we’re here to help musicians, now, anyway.”